At A Glance

Yeah, the legs look good, at a glance!

These are the legs that I have pretty much covered up for 30 years. Covered up, meaning always wearing long pants or tights. There are many reasons why I didn’t think my legs were worthy of being seen.

Looking back, I can see where I may have started hating on myself. You know, more moments of looking at what’s wrong as opposed to seeing what’s right!

About 25 years ago, I had a friend who was in her early 20’s, I was in my early 30’s. She was a character for sure, strong, assertive and sometimes matter of fact and crass.

Sunbathing at her Condo in Malibu, a woman walked by, she said, “oh my God, somebody cover that woman up, why is she walking around with all that fat wobbling and those purple veins everywhere!”

Not only was it mean spirited, it made me think about my legs and wonder if they were worthy of being seen. Perhaps that was the beginning of me scrutinizing my less than perfect legs, along with everybody else who began scrutinizing them!

I was a trainer at The Malibu Gym. The gym is a tough place to be. Everybody is checking out everybody else and the people working out are staring in the mirror at themselves and everybody else.

One of the more mature female trainers made it a point to tell me that I still needed to lose that little bit of fat just under my ass at the top of my hamstrings–she even grabbed the fat to be real clear! 

Mind you, we weren’t close friends, she just wanted to put me in my place since I was a new trainer. Now, looking back after a lifetime profession of helping people get healthier, there has always been the pressure to look the part. Hence the scrutinizing.

I had been feeling fabulous. I had just completed a 10 day vegetable juice fast. Since I rarely wore shorts, I felt brave and confident enough to put them on and walk into the gym. That ass grabbing incident took care of that!

Right around the same stretch of time, I decided to take an aerobics class in Hollywood. Whenever I wasn’t going to my gym, I felt a little freer to wear shorts elsewhere since nobody knew me. A day free of scrutinizing!

Again, I was feeling great as I walked across a residential street toward the dance studio and I noticed a homeless man in the alley near the studio. Later, when I left the studio heading back toward my car, he said, “you’ve got to get that last little bit of fat off the back of your legs, then they’ll be perfect.”

Why were these people so bold about MY body!?! I’m hard enough on myself, I guess they were my mirror, showing me more of the same.

My legs are not perfect.

My legs are sun damaged and scarred from too many blistering sunburns and too many mountain bike crashes. They are full of discolored broken veins. They have brown spots and white spots and oh yeah, red and purple spots too.

And, as you’ve already discovered, they’ve got a good amount of fat as a layer, and of course that added fat up near my ass!

Geez.

Oh my goodness, as much as my legs are not perfect, I have seen some perfect legs. Absolutely smooth, silky, flawless legs. It’s maddening when I see them because oh how I have wanted perfect legs. I salivate when I see them.

Perfection is not attainable, how did we get wired into being so physically focused? I have managed to stay out of the mainstream mentality of a lot of things but I have failed in this category.

I’m sure all of those perfect legs I’ve seen, those dear ones have their own struggles, their own focusing on what’s wrong but just in other areas. Even though it may appear so, no one is perfect. We all hide our imperfections in one way or another.

I now embrace my imperfections, it is so much easier and feels a lot better than striving for perfection. I’m not gonna lie, it takes time.

In the past, I learned to pick myself apart and tear myself down pretty good. Always looking at what’s wrong, what’s unacceptable, unlovable. 

And with all of that, I’ve been covering them up for a good 30 years. Disliking them, keeping them hidden. Now that I am blessed by AWARENESS, things can change!

I must proclaim, my legs are magnificent! They are strong and flexible, they get me places. They carry me through it all. There are times I am in AWE of my legs and what they’ve accomplished. Yes, my legs are beautiful because they are strong and they move with ease and flexibility.

My legs have been the basis of my income since I was 23! I worked my way through college teaching Aerobics. My legs have endured heavy squats during all my years of power lifting in the gym. My legs powered me through leading hikes in Malibu for the last 15 years. My legs have been pedaling up hills in the Santa Monica Mountains for the last 26 years. I could go on, you get the point.

Perhaps the narrative should be, “thank you for supporting me even though I haven’t loved you nearly enough”.

It feels really shallow to be so critical of appearance, especially knowing there are people who can’t even move their legs! I am profusely grateful for my perfectly imperfect legs.

Today I turned 60! I now embrace my legs and remind myself what they have done for me and continue to do. I’m going to practice something far better than pin pointing every flaw. I’m moving from self loathing toward self loving!

That is my new blog and if you can relate, please comment. If you feel inspired to send me a donation, I will graciously accept! If not, that’s okay too, I’m just learning to ask and receive and if I don’t ask, I won’t receive. Thank you for reading!

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11 Comments

  1. Well Tara, that was marvelous! Thank you for your open unmasked honesty.. I think you have beautiful legs.. I’ve always been envious of your long lean legs..funny you should talk of legs because, my legs are what I’ve liked the least of my body…thick thighs, saddlebags, huge knees, and lots of those purple spider veins hanging around. I haven’t worn shorts since I was in my early 40’s…In the summer now I will only wear capri pants..I will get in a bathing suit, but I think my legs still look horrible. But like you, my legs have brought me far. They’ve been my source of income for many years waiting tables 😊 They allow me to go on long refreshing walks, and to excersize and continue my Yoga practice..they allow me to ride my bike and to swim….and, my legs are a part of my physical make up that I got from my Mom…. I always joked and made fun of the fact that I got “my Mom’s” legs….now, I’m happy about it. And I recognize that my Mom’s legs took her through her life….all the trials & tribulations, happy times, and tragedy.. She gave me her legs and they are strong and sturdy….yes, they feel heavy sometimes and my ankles swell, but I’m the only one who notices that stuff. And, you are the only one who notices your legs perfect imperfections. 60 looks amazing on you Tara….you inspire by the healthy way you have lived & continue to live your life. I think alot of the beautiful, perfect people that you’ve encountered out West are very insecure and don’t love themselves very much….and that is why they point out such insignificant physical flaws in others. Remember, God made us in his image…so how can we be anything less than perfect! I Love you….(and those perfect legs)! 💗👍

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  2. Beautifully written. You are so talented. LA seems so toxic with all of its judgement. That work environment you were in does not sound like anything healthy. Good for you for showing them. You are magnificent at 60 especially. There is so much pressure as women in this society. I remember being like 6 when I started holding in my stomach. As I age I’m trying to hang on and also embrace the changes but it’s not always easy. Luckily I have really good muscle retention and memory. I just started taking kick boxing classes and I can see my body going back to being a little more fit and I’m experiencing a lot less pain that I have been. I know my body needs to work to feel good. This is an inspiring article that points out what is really important. It feels insane sometimes how the outside doesn’t match the inside and vice versa for some people.

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    1. Fun, kickboxing! That’s one activity I have never done. Wow, sucking it in at 6, can’t imagine that. Actually, I never even knew I had a body until I was 19 but that’s another juicy story! Thank you for your kind words of support. 💝

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    2. I can sympathise. I HATE wearing shorts-however, I can’t imagine how I’d feel if someone made those comments to me, sorry people said hurtful things. Interesting how a comment can stay with you forever. I worry about that raising a daughter-what comments will she hear, the comments I’ve already heard about her body, that could hold her back. Why is it socially okay to comment on a female body-even a 2, 3, or 4 year old.

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      1. Wow, well it’s a good thing you’re aware, you can be her dominant voice. I was pretty lucky, I honestly ran around playing, oblivious that I even had a body until it started changing when I was 18/19. Your Lucy will be fine. You’ll affirm the truth. 💝

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  3. I cannot believe you’re 60. Honestly, I thought you were younger. I know what it’s like to feel unhappy about your body, for most of my life before. That definitely shouldn’t be a problem for you seeing your photos. You are gorgeous. Especially your legs. Please keep doing what you’re doing and being the wonderful person that you are.

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    1. Thanks Tony, yeah it truly is just a number, thank goodness. I don’t want to chime into the mainstream mentality that my body’s going to start breaking down now that I’m 60. So far so good, one day at a time. I am grateful 🙏

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  4. Oh boy we all have our problems and legs is one of mine. I somehow have been gifted with confidence and know that we are the only ones who see our imperfections. I have always embraced mine. As we age people tend to care more about how you treat them not noticing the flaws. I had my main veins lasered out at 50 and sclerotherapy every year since then with good results!! Shall I go on my knee has calcium built up and it’s been coming directly out of my soft tissues with a hard plate like substance built up on my knee cap. Then I also have a lipoma on the back of my right leg the size of a tangerine lol. I’m hoping to get that removed also. The cellulite I have had for years is the least of my problems. I am 120 lbs now so I lost most of it. My legs are strong so I am happy and love them in their present state I hope they stay that way !! Happy 60 th girl mine is Nov. 15th. You are beautiful be proud !!

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